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114 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathes life into Austen.
I didn't bother watching this when it was originally on television, thinking that the Emma Thompson film was so good that nothing would match it and so I just wouldn't bother. Having watched the dvd under some persuasion from a friend, I'm quite ashamed of my ignorance and wish I'd watched it back then. This is simply an excellent adaptation which shows up faults I...
Published on 11 Oct 2009 by Lucy Lavande

versus
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DVD version disappointing
My review is more to do with the quality of the DVD than the film itself.
Having seen the mini serie on TV I bought the DVD as in some way I hope to
support these kind of productions this way. But I am very disappointed as
scenes have been cut out from the DVD version. Why on earth is this necessary?
And why isn't there a note mentioning this? In...
Published on 3 Oct 2010 by Wiebke


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deja vu, 20 July 2008
By 
Crm Hamelinck "Drama Aficionado" (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sense & Sensibility : Complete BBC Series [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
Pride and Prejudice is the classic that made me a period drama fan over 10 years ago. i have been devouring books and dvd's ever since. (importing what i can't get my hands on in the Netherlands)
I'm always eager for new adaptations, and have 3 versions of Jane Eyre alone. the more the merrier is my motto!
But i was disappointed with this version. Yes, it was well made. And it was lovely to see the book come to life over a few hours time, and not over Ang Lee's 130 minutes. In this way, one can do the novel more justice.
But i often found myself longing for Ang Lee's S&S. (which of course is not perfect either) More than that, i often found myself reminded of it. The conversation between Mr and Mrs. Dashwood in the carriage, about his dead fathers wish for instance.
Or the cottage by the sea. it sometimes looked like an ode to Ang Lee and Emma Thompson's script!
I missed the vigour of Mrs Jennings and John Middleton.
The actress playing Elinor was cast wonderfully, but the tone of het voice, her pronounciation often reminded me of Emma Thompson.
Marianne was well cast to, but didn't seem to add something new to Kate Winslet. Edward Ferrars was wonderfully cast, after all, in the '95 version, one cannot see edward, one sees Hugh Grant!
contrary to another reviewer, i didn't like Morissey as Brandon at all! i just did not find him sympathetic or attractive. (though i did love his performance in 'our mutual friend').Willoughby on the other hand, was not handsome/sexy enough, and had a boyish, unreliable look to him.
he seemed terribly Byronic to me, with 'trouble' spelt all over him. that would imply that Marianne was uncounsciously or even consciously plotting her own downfall. (interesting theory, as she does wish to live the life of a romantic heroine...) Anyways, it's much more shocking when you don't see it coming. (I must admit, it took me a few years to reconcile myself to Marianne marying Brandon at all, i was 17 when i first saw it myself) I don't mind the erotic touches at all though, i think that does add realism and depth. Jane Austen does require one to read between the lines.
On the whole, i was expecting more added value. what i found was a lot of repitition. It was good, it was solid. 3 stars are certainly earned. But i was hoping for so much more. But watch it, by all means.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best version ever or likely to be, 9 Jun 2009
By 
Peter J. Wannan (New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sense & Sensibility : Complete BBC Series [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
Make no mistake, this version appears at first to be a clone of the 1995 movie with an uncanny replication of the actors in that movie. The notable exceptions, however, are Elinor, Colonel Brandon, and Willoughby.

Watch it more than once and you will find, as I did, the new Brandon grows on you and is better.
As far as Willoughby, well, you can make up your own mind!
Hattie Morahan's Elinor is no less than a tour-de-force. No knocking Emmma Thompson as an actress but she is no 19-year old. Hattie's Elinor and Andrew Davies' adaption simply carry the story to a new level. For readers, that means closer to the novel.
It is a brave actress that follows Kate Winslet, however, Charity Wakefield's Marianne lacks nothing for that.

The "exceptions" in the characters make this version that much better.

This series, of course, has the luxury of time to include a lot more from the book, including the Brandon Willoughby duel, Brandon's ward (the readers of the book will "get" the opening scene right away), Willoughby's visit to the sick Marianne (mind you, not in the novel!)and lots more goodies. Don't be disappointed if you don't pick them all up at first, they will come with every repeat watching. It simply makes for a more rounded story told in a less rushed way.

And it is "compelling and exciting" - that is not just marketing jargon.

I am not a Jane Austen fan, my partner is. But Sense and Sensibility is my favourite Austen story after Persuasion and Pride & Prejudice. And this production simply confirms that.

Thank God for the BBC and WGBH Boston.

It is the only version a non-reader of the novels, like me, needs to have for getting to understand what an exceptional novelist Jane Austen really is.

A must have in any Austen DVD collection.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good-looking but not necessarily good, 12 Mar 2008
This review is from: Sense & Sensibility : Complete BBC Series [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
It was with trepidation and anticipation I waited for this to air over the festive season. I read an article in Radio Times that earnestly declared that it would not be stepping on the toes of the 1996 film version and would hold its own quite nicely. For the most part I am in agreement. This adaptation approached Austen's work with the aim of also showing the male perspective of the story and thus side-stepped encroaching on Ang Lee's filmic masterpiece. However, I am afraid it was for me, precisely this point that didn't sit well. Points of dialogue between the foremost male characters although artfully penned by the wonderful Andrew Davies seemed to be unnecessary and detract from what for me is an already perfectly formed narrative. I was particularly irritated by the sword fighting scene in the latter third as it seemed entirely pointless, and was even a little let down at Davies attempt to sex it up a bit with the woodcutting scene with Edward Ferrars, undoubtedly supposed to be to S&S what Colin Firth's lake scene was to Pride &Prejudice. Equally I thought the opening sex scene with Willoughby was in poor taste.

Be that as it may I thought the cast were wonderful and much preferred this Edward Ferrars to Hugh Grant's who I always struggle to believe can make anyone fall in love with him - but perhaps that is just Grant! Some of the shots were simply beautiful. I particularly loved the scene in which Brandon shows Marianne his library - the bowl of ripe red strawberries against the rich mahogany furniture was very evocative - and overall it was lovely to watch.

This adaptation was obviously made to entice a younger audience towards period drama, and in that respect I recommend it because it does its job rather nicely. If you could only see one version however, I'd suggest Ang Lee's version every time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle, restrained and superb, 10 Dec 2013
By 
JC Lilley "Snowdrop" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sense & Sensibility : Complete BBC Series [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
An exceptional performance by Hattie Morahan as the guiding "sense" in Jane Austen's tale (the best Austen turn I've seen on film with the possible exception of Amanda Root in Persuasion). The restraint she's brings to her portrayal is utterly true to Georgian values and to the character Austen has written. Her delicacy and her manners, are perfectly pitched. She is marvellous. So, indeed, is the whole production, with the exception of two tiny moments. I wanted Willoughby, the romantic, Byronic hero of Marianne's dreams to arrive hot and sweaty on a white charger, not simply on foot. And at the end I wanted a close-up on Elinor's face as it dawns on her that Edward can be hers after all. We deserved that. But, do favour this Sense & Sensibility above all others. Hattie is to die for.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A startlingly potent visualisation of this novel, 28 Oct 2013
By 
Thomas Pots "T Pots" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sense & Sensibility : Complete BBC Series [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
There have been very many film productions of this novel, but this one is a cut above them all, matching even Emma Thompson's Oscar-winning cinema version. Here we have, from the very first scene, a potent, dramatic and fresh take on the novel. Director John Alexander, seems to have never made it to the big screen, but his vision and ability illuminates every frame of this mini-series. I have read the novel many times, and know it well, but Alexander manages to inject something new and startling into this all-too-familiar tale of the Dashwoods, their fall from wealthy society, and the ensuing plight of the elder two of the three daughters.

The production values are worthy, and the BBC has furnished the series with what appears to be a suitable budget to do it justice. The score is wonderfully evocative of the mood, conjuring drama and romance aplenty throughout. The photography is also tremendous, and seems to takes it influence from Lord Leighton paintings, One moment in episode two is certainly taken straight from Leighton's painting "Invocation".

If the series has a weakness, it is in its similarity to Thompson's version. Barton Cottage has an almost identical floor plan, as does the structure of some of the scenes. That said, the plot stays very close to the novel, and throws in plenty elsewhere that is original but entirely in keeping. The casting is excellent, as is the acting. Hattie Morahan (Elinor Dashwood) and the startlingly photogenic Charity Wakefield (Marianne Dashwood) do fine work here. I am perplexed at why Wakefield, for whom this was her first screen role, never capitalized on this performance to go beyond doing stints in "Casualty" and the like, as she commands every scene in which she appears.

There are some decent extras. We have a commentary by Elinor Dashwood, Edward Ferris, the director and producer, though they sometimes seem at a loss to know what to say. There's also an interview with producer and script writer, in which much needless comparison is made with Thompson's movie version, as if the two were in competition, which they were not. That said, when the series was first broadcast, the BBC introduced it by mentioning the movie, which was a silly thing to do as the series is every bit as good as the movie in every respect.

Overall, this adaptation really is a must-have in any costume drama fan's collection. It is the BBC doing what it does so very well - producing a masterclass of acting and production, fabulous on-location shooting (in this case with all the drama of the windswept Devon coastline), and wonderful scripting, which makes the series entertaining and surprisingly original. It is such a good series, I wonder why on earth the BBC produces such gems, and then steadfastly refuses to give them a repeat showing. Goodness know, plenty of drivel seems to merit endless repeats.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just so romantic, 8 Oct 2013
By 
Dr. David Hattersley (Cambs England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sense & Sensibility : Complete BBC Series [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
because I just love it and have worn one copy out. I watch it again and again and I never get tired off it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Jane Austen Film adaptation EVER, 4 Oct 2013
This review is from: Sense & Sensibility : Complete BBC Series [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
This is my favourite of all the Jane Austen Film/Series Fantastic actors that are completely elegant and beautiful in their acting.
The imagery and background is completely breathtaking and awe inspiring, its so beautiful you'll want to watch it just for this.
The story itself is one of utter brilliance. Hattie Morahan is completely wonderful and Eleanor Dashwood and Charity Wakefeild is strong and brillant as Maryanne. If you love periOd dramas then you need to get your hands on this series. A favourite forever
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My collection, 29 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Sense & Sensibility : Complete BBC Series [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
Love all these Jane Austen dvds. Delivered promptly and well packed, Can watch these over and over.It is a matter of taste but this is another one for my collection
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another bloke's point of view., 23 Sep 2010
By 
This review is from: Sense & Sensibility : Complete BBC Series [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
I went into this DVD under the impression that it was the Winslett one so would be over in an hour and three-quarters but my wife's sneaky trick was soon apparent. This is the better version and I have to say that I became very 'into' the story. I still found it difficult to find a great deal of sympathy for women who, apparently, are upset that they might have to do a bit of work for a change although they still could afford to hire someone to do the bits that were really beneath them.

The acting was more than good, the story and characters resolved themselves steadily, and the build-up of tension - well, as much as you could generate given how well known the story was - convinced.

I'm far from being a fan of Austen's work. I was obliged to read it when a kid, some 40 odd years ago now, for exams, and whilst I have an appreciation of her literary ability, this fixation of hers to marry a vicar bewilders me. Emma and P&P I can udnerstand: going after someone who is filthy rich seem perfectly logical to me. But where this adaptation fails, as did the Winslett one, was in making the male love interest even the slightest bit interesting.

Most, if not all, authors are self obsessed but Austen is up there in the vanguard.

At least Morahan could be taken as a teenager whereas Thompson was approaching middle age by the time she played Elinore.

So yes, it was worth watching. It was cleverly produced, well acted by the young cast and I'm pleased I saw it.

Apart from the totally unattractiveness of the character of the male lead (as much as any male gets a lead in Austen's works) with all else being of high quality this sneaks into the four star rating but only grudgingly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful watch, 17 July 2014
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I love this adaptation of Jane Austens Sense & Sensibility. The Actors really have got the characterisations right Hattie Moran & Chariety Wakefield are wonderful as Elinor & Marianne, they have a wonderful connection on screen. Claire Skinner as Mrs John Dashwood is divine. To be honest I could go on & on about individual actors, you will not be disappointed they are exceptional.
My only criticism is that some scenes have been cut. I have the DVD which is uncut and it does flow better with all scenes.
It is however a wonderful watch, so enjoy.
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